2 Wheels / 2 Bikes


How wonderful it was to be HOME last weekend!  Especially when the weather was oh so fine.

I started the morning on the bicycle, putting in 16 miles along the river and on our bikeway / walkway.

Once back at the house, I knocked a few items off the “to do list” and then hit the road on the motorcycle.  I crossed over Claytor Lake, and then stopped for a few photos.

I parked the bike for a bit and walked over one of the New River Trail trestles (more photos of that coming soon).

Then it was back on the bike for the ride home.

I may not look happy, but believe me, I was!

My Other Bike


Those of you who have visited before know that I spend what little free time I have on my motorcycle.  Before I bought that bike, though, I used to ride this bike.  Sadly, the bicycle has been neglected these past ten years.  Until last year, I would only get on the bike for the Ride of Silence.  After last year’s ROS, I made a commitment to ride more often, and I kept that commitment until winter, riding at least 20 miles weekly.  That’s not much for serious cyclists, but it was good for me.

Every year, my community hosts the Wilderness Road Ride, and cyclists can choose the 29, 38, 58, or 79 mile route.  I’ve ridden in the WWR a few times since it’s inception 26 yrs ago, but it had been many, many years since I’d participated.

 Three weeks ago, I challenged myself to ride the 38 mile route even though my training has been non existent.  I decided that I would go alone so as not to have to keep up with anyone, to take my time, and to shoot photos for a blog post.  As expected, I saw many people who had better gear and were in much better shape, but I was determined!

After just a couple miles, I stopped at the memorial garden in our local park where there are several monuments, one dedicated to each of the wars where men and women have served and lost their lives.

Then I continued on down The Riverway, our city’s bikeway / walkway.

Soon enough, I was out on main roads, and thankful for a respite from a week of rain and flooding.

This was a long steady climb (at least for me)

which led to roads with this expansive view.

The route took us over Interstate 81, where flags are always placed in preparation for Rolling Thunder, an annual motorcycle ride to DC.  The ride to the nation’s capital is held to honor POW and MIA service members and thousands of  bikers participate.

I hit the 20 mile mark around this time, and these very friendly women glided on by with no effort.

That’s okay though, I kept my spirits up knowing that the rest stop was just a few miles ahead.  The scenary just kept getting prettier, 

and these two probably wondered why I didn’t keep riding on by like everyone else.

FINALLY! At 22 miles, a rest stop! I was able to refill my water bottle, eat my PB on pita, and take a short breather.

I have to confess that while I was having no problem on the flats, the hills were proving to be a bit challenging.  Despite my “I can do it” attitude, my lack of training was showing.

I stopped to take this image, and the two farmers standing near by said “you didn’t really want to take that photo, you just needed a break”.  I laughed and told them not to tell anyone as they were partially right!  They also offered to put my bike in the back of a truck and take me home, but I declined and kept on riding.   It’s a great image, though, right?

I didn’t stop too much after that, deciding that my energy needed to be focused on getting back to the truck.  Then I saw one of my favorite signs, and had to stop for a picture.

At about the 34 mile mark, the clouds started moving in and the breeze picked up.

BUT it NEVER rained, and I finished the 37 mile ride.

Did you notice that I said 37 miles vs 38 miles?  I had to bypass one big, big climb, but all in all, I was really proud of the accomplishment.

#shepersisted took on a whole new meaning today 🙂

Motorcycle, Bicycle, and River, Oh My!

As I sat in the river yesterday, I thought of all the items on my “to do” list.  Yes, I was actually sitting in the Little River, and I was oh so happy.

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I looked up to see the smoke from the grill caught in the sunlight streaming through the trees, and in addition to my “to do” list, I thought about how fortunate I was.

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Surrounded by friends, on a gorgeous September afternoon, with laughter and the sound of flowing water providing amazing background music.

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The only thing that I could have wanted was more time to take care of that “to do” list.  Thankfully, I had an extra day off for that, and today is that extra day.  I’ve spent the last 8 hours scatching items off of that list, and that means it is finally time for WordPress, a chance to relive the weekend, and a visit to all of you.

After getting off work on Friday, I stopped by Rising Silo Brewery.

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Part of a ground-up movement, “the purpose of the brewery is to create fermented beverages from the best ingredients, overflowing with thought and authenticity in taste”.

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Rising Silo is a farm brewery, the foundation of which is Glade Road Growing, a farm located on a conservation easement, which means that it will permanently remain open space._MG_5213-2_MG_5211-2

How can you not love their mission: to create “an evolving space that community members near and far may gather to connect, dream, celebrate and relax. We believe in fresh food, true brews, and good people”.

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Saturday morning started with a solo, 17 mile ride on the bicycle, partly along the New River,

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followed by a 200 mile group ride on the motorcycle.

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In my quest to improve my health, I even managed to run 2.5 miles!

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And all this fabulousness brings me back to today.

If being able to run, ride both bikes, and spend time on the water wasn’t enough, I’ve been gifted with this extra day, Labor Day, to get caught up.  It is so satisfying to see the “to do” list get shorter.

 Labor Day, a creation of the labor movement over 100 years ago, “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country”.

While I know that I work hard every day, how is it that I still feel a twinge of guilt for being off today?

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One more great thing about this weekend?  The Hokies won, too.

Sam Rogers (45) carries the American flag to lead the Hokies into Lane Stadium for the first time this year.

Photo Credit: thekeyplay.com

Yes, College Football season is here, and I’ll be watching the FSU – Ole Miss game tonight while visiting all of you.

Cycling the Riverway

If you’ve followed along over the past (almost) four years, you know that I am devoted to my motorcycle.  Some of my favorite moments are spent exploring the countryside on my HD Softail Slim.

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What you may not know is that before I fell in love with my motorized bike, I was a regular cyclist.  No, not one of those athletes that you see riding the roads in their colorful jerseys, but I’d ride 10 – 12 miles in the mornings before work, and would take an 18- 20 mile ride almost every weekend.

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Sadly, over the past 7-8 yrs, I’ve averaged just 8 miles per year as an organizer of, and participant in, the Ride of Silence.

The motorcycle definitely rules my heart!

In my determination to rekindle my love with the bicycle, and to get in better shape, I was up and out early yesterday, cycling The Riverway (all images were captured with my cell phone).

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The Riverway is Radford’s bikeway / walkway system.  18 years ago, a group of citizens worked to secure federal and state grant funding, which when matched by Radford’s local government, led to the development of our wonderful bikeway.  As a founding member of Pathways for Radford, it is still a thrill for me to ride on the Riverway, and to see what the City of Radford, and the Citizens of Radford accomplished together!

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One of our fundraising efforts was the brick Pathways Plaza.  Several of my family members are remembered in brick, including my paternal grandparents.

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Benches, situated along The Riverway, also provided fundraising opportunities.

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The bikeway / walkway runs right along the New River, and is a favorite place for walkers, runners, cyclists, and dogs walking their humans.

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The Riverway runs right under Main Street through this tunnel.  The approach to the Tunnel on either end is preceeded by a climb, so  the tunnel provides a chance to catch a breath!

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While I am just getting back on the bicycle, it already feels great, and I am committed to improving my health by riding at least once weekly.  I figure if I get up early enough, I’ll find time to ride both bikes each weekend 🙂

Promises, Promises

The promise that sunshine and summer will arrive: Done

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The promise of a short but oh so sweet 75 mile motorcycle ride to soak in that sun, and this view: Done!

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The promise of getting back on the bicycle and completing 22 miles (after not having ridden more than 8 in years): Done!

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The promise of a meaningful Memorial Day Service: Done!

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The promise to visit all of you: Unfulfilled … Yet!

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The Fullness of May is over, and it’s time to play catch up!  I promise 🙂

Ride of Silence 2014

The 7th Ride of Silence in the New River Valley (NRV) of Virginia was a great success.  We had over 100 participants in this annual event to honor and remember those injured or killed while riding on public roadways.  I’ve not seen the total numbers from around the globe, but I do know that there were 313 rides held in the United States alone.  It is incredibly powerful to know that you are riding with people from all over the world … on the same date, at the same time.  It is also incredibly sad to think that these events have to be held.

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The Ride of Silence – NRV began, as always, with a very brief program.  Advocacy news and updates, and then instructions about the ride are given.  I’m proud to serve as one of the event organizers (of all my volunteer interests, this is one of my favorites) and amateur photographer (clearIy need to work on the photography of moving bikes)

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Cyclists of all ages and riding ability are escorted by local police officers in a slow procession through the city, sending a message that we will not be silent about those injured or killed on the road.

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We do ride in silence and it’s an incredible moment.  One of the riders wrote about the event in her blog The Chronicles of Cort the Sport.  I encourage you to check out her account.  Cortney commented that “Cycling is therapy, it’s transportation, it’s freedom, it’s happiness. But sometimes it’s also tragic. This ride, with the ghost bike of killed cyclist Fess Green, was both a reminder of the dangers and a celebration of the community. I’d encourage others to take part in (or start one!) a Ride of Silence in their community next year”.

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We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of the City of Radford local government and the Radford City Police Department.

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and this next shot from the 2012 Ride.

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Thanks so all cyclists around the world for participating in the 2014 Ride of Silence.

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Please Remember!!

It is not just cars that use the road … pedestrians, runners, cyclists, and motorcyclists, too.

SHARE THE ROAD!

We Will Not Be Quiet

THE RIDE OF SILENCE WILL NOT BE QUIET

Tomorrow, May 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM, the 11th Annual Ride of Silence will begin in North America and will roll across the globe.

Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

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Here in the City of Radford, we’ll be hosting our 7th Annual Ride of Silence, an effort that was started when friend and fellow cycling advocate and enthusiast, Fess Green, was hit by a motorist and died from his injuries.  A Ghost Bike is placed at the site of the tragic accident each year a week or so before the ride.

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It’s a solemn, thought provoking event, and an incredibly powerful ride.

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In the next day or so, I’ll be posting a summary of this year’s ride.  Be sure to look for a Ride of Silence event in your area and check out this link to last year’s post for more information.

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Atlanta!

My friend Ruth and I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia  this past weekend, the latest installment in our annual road trip to watch the Hokies.  As avid Virginia Tech Football fans (and basketball fans, too, for that matter),  we choose one away game to attend each year.  We’ve traveled to Chapel Hill, NC;  Huntington, WVa;  Morgantown, WVa; and to Washington, DC and Atlanta twice.  We try to find a town or place to explore along the way, and search out the historic downtown of any community we visit.  This was our 5th year in a row, and our 7th road trip overall.

We posed for the traditional start of the trip photo and then hit the road!

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The normal 6 1/2 hour trip turned into 9 due to a combination of Friday afternoon rush hour, labor day weekend, and football traffic.  A stop in Kings Mountain, NC and dinner at the Cherokee Grill was just what we needed.

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We finally saw the lights of Atlanta a little after 10pm.  I was so excited about finally arriving that I attempted to take a picture … with my cell phone … while Ruth navigated the interstate at 65mph!  This picture doesn’t reflect it, but the night skyline of Atlanta is beautiful!

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The next day dawned hot and muggy, but we had plenty of time to explore a few of the neighborhoods of Atlanta while waiting for game time. Theresa, our host for the weekend, was an excellent tour guide.

Photography on a trip with friends is a bit of a challenge.  How do you find time to shoot quality images while spending time with friends?  I definitely want to document the trip but I don’t want to spend all my time behind the lens.

We explored the neighborhood near Emory University and had a delicious breakfast at the Rise-n-Dine.

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Theresa drove us through the Krog Street Tunnel, which is known for it’s street art.  I jumped out of the car and had less than a minute to shoot what the locals call their “living bulletin board and urban art gallery”.

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The CNN Center and Olympic Park were both crawling with Tide and Hokie fans, although Virginia Tech fans were far outnumbered.

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Virginia Tech met Alabama in the Georgia Dome, and while we did not beat the #1 team in College Football, our defense was outstanding.  We held them to fewer yards and our offense gained more yards than most teams did in 2012.

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Sunday morning came quickly and it was time to head back home.  We briefly stopped in Spartanburg, SC and I wish we’d had more time to visit.  The downtown area, while quiet for a Sunday, showed evidence of historic renovation and revitalization.

Loved this Urban Art installation called Artcycle.

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The sun was bright at midday and the photos aren’t the best, but the artcycles were great!

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Locally owned businesses have the most creative signage and curb appeal.

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We were back in Radford in the late afternoon and had a short visit with friends who had gathered for labor day.  A lovely way to end the weekend … even if we did miss the music.

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Charleston: Cycling to the Sun

One of the many great things about Charleston is that it is a community that bikes.  Everywhere you look, you see folks riding bicycles.  Unfortunately most are riding without helmets, but that story is for another time.   I loved this dedicated “bike parking lot”.

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A bookstore right in front of the bike parking lot uses cool combination advertising.

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One of the purposes of the trip was to bring my son a bicycle so he’d be able to join the other cyclists in commuting and in play.

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One evening, Andrew and I rode through Hampton Park and from there, found a curvy little pathway that led to the Ashley River.

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It was the perfect place to watch the sun set over the river.

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Such peace and tranquility … I was almost ready to move there!

My Other Bike

It’s no use denying it … since I fell in love with motorcycles, my other two wheeled bike sits unused and collecting dust.  In 5 years, I have ridden less than 100 miles on the bicycle that I chose carefully and used to ride almost daily, 12 miles before work and more on the weekend.  Charleston is the perfect place to explore by bicycle and I loved riding it over The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge.

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